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1.  The genome of the simian and human malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi 
Nature  2008;455(7214):799-803.
Plasmodium knowlesi is an intracellular malaria parasite whose natural vertebrate host is Macaca fascicularis (the ‘kra’ monkey); however, it is now increasingly recognized as a significant cause of human malaria, particularly in southeast Asia1,2. Plasmodium knowlesi was the first malaria parasite species in which antigenic variation was demonstrated3, and it has a close phylogenetic relationship to Plasmodium vivax​4, the second most important species of human malaria parasite (reviewed in ref. 4). Despite their relatedness, there are important phenotypic differences between them, such as host blood cell preference, absence of a dormant liver stage or ‘hypnozoite’ in P. knowlesi, and length of the asexual cycle (reviewed in ref. 4). Here we present an analysis of the P. knowlesi (H strain, Pk1(A+) clone5) nuclear genome sequence. This is the first monkey malaria parasite genome to be described, and it provides an opportunity for comparison with the recently completed P. vivax genome4 and other sequenced Plasmodium genomes6-8. In contrast to other Plasmodium genomes, putative variant antigen families are dispersed throughout the genome and are associated with intrachromosomal telomere repeats. One of these families, the KIRs9, contains sequences that collectively match over one-half of the host CD99 extracellular domain, which may represent an unusual form of molecular mimicry.
PMCID: PMC2656934  PMID: 18843368
2.  The complete genome sequence and analysis of Corynebacterium diphtheriae NCTC13129 
Nucleic Acids Research  2003;31(22):6516-6523.
Corynebacterium diphtheriae is a Gram-positive, non-spore forming, non-motile, pleomorphic rod belonging to the genus Corynebacterium and the actinomycete group of organisms. The organism produces a potent bacteriophage-encoded protein exotoxin, diphtheria toxin (DT), which causes the symptoms of diphtheria. This potentially fatal infectious disease is controlled in many developed countries by an effective immunisation programme. However, the disease has made a dramatic return in recent years, in particular within the Eastern European region. The largest, and still on-going, outbreak since the advent of mass immunisation started within Russia and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union in the 1990s. We have sequenced the genome of a UK clinical isolate (biotype gravis strain NCTC13129), representative of the clone responsible for this outbreak. The genome consists of a single circular chromosome of 2 488 635 bp, with no plasmids. It provides evidence that recent acquisition of pathogenicity factors goes beyond the toxin itself, and includes iron-uptake systems, adhesins and fimbrial proteins. This is in contrast to Corynebacterium’s nearest sequenced pathogenic relative, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, where there is little evidence of recent horizontal DNA acquisition. The genome itself shows an unusually extreme large-scale compositional bias, being noticeably higher in G+C near the origin than at the terminus.
PMCID: PMC275568  PMID: 14602910
3.  Identification and characterization of a G protein-coupled receptor homolog encoded by murine cytomegalovirus. 
Journal of Virology  1997;71(2):1521-1529.
This report describes the identification of a murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) G protein-coupled receptor (GCR) homolog. This open reading frame (M33) is most closely related to, and collinear with, human cytomegalovirus UL33, and homologs are also present in human herpesvirus 6 and 7 (U12 for both viruses). Conserved counterparts in the sequenced alpha- or gammaherpesviruses have not been identified to date, suggesting that these genes encode proteins which are important for the biological characteristics of betaherpesviruses. We have detected transcripts for both UL33 and M33 as early as 3 or 4 h postinfection, and these reappear at late times. In addition, we have identified N-terminal splicing for both the UL33 and M33 RNA transcripts. For both open reading frames, splicing results in the introduction of amino acids which are highly conserved among known GCRs. To characterise the function of the M33 in the natural host, two independent MCMV recombinant viruses were prepared, each of which possesses an M33 open reading frame which has been disrupted with the beta-galactosidase gene. While the recombinant M33 null viruses showed no phenotypic differences in replication from wild-type MCMV in primary mouse embryo fibroblasts in vitro, they showed severely restricted growth in the salivary glands of infected mice. These data suggest that M33 plays an important role in vivo, in particular in the dissemination to or replication in the salivary gland, and provide the first evidence for the function of a viral GCR homolog in vivo.
PMCID: PMC191209  PMID: 8995678
4.  Analysis of the complete DNA sequence of murine cytomegalovirus. 
Journal of Virology  1996;70(12):8833-8849.
The complete DNA sequence of the Smith strain of murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) was determined from virion DNA by using a whole-genome shotgun approach. The genome has an overall G+C content of 58.7%, consists of 230,278 bp, and is arranged as a single unique sequence with short (31-bp) terminal direct repeats and several short internal repeats. Significant similarity to the genome of the sequenced human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) strain AD169 is evident, particularly for 78 open reading frames encoded by the central part of the genome. There is a very similar distribution of G+C content across the two genomes. Sequences toward the ends of the MCMV genome encode tandem arrays of homologous glycoproteins (gps) arranged as two gene families. The left end encodes 15 gps that represent one family, and the right end encodes a different family of 11 gps. A homolog (m144) of cellular major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I genes is located at the end of the genome opposite the HCMV MHC class I homolog (UL18). G protein-coupled receptor (GCR) homologs (M33 and M78) occur in positions congruent with two (UL33 and UL78) of the four putative HCMV GCR homologs. Counterparts of all of the known enzyme homologs in HCMV are present in the MCMV genome, including the phosphotransferase gene (M97), whose product phosphorylates ganciclovir in HCMV-infected cells, and the assembly protein (M80).
PMCID: PMC190980  PMID: 8971012
5.  Identification, cloning, and expression of the major capsid protein gene of human herpesvirus 6. 
Journal of Virology  1990;64(2):714-722.
DNA sequence analysis of part of the human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) genome led to the identification of an open reading frame with amino acid sequence homology to the major capsid proteins (MCP) of other HHVs. DIAGON analysis showed that the closest homology was with human cytomegalovirus. Plasmids were constructed which were shown to express the HHV-6 MCP as either the entire open reading frame or as portions of it, and the recombinant-produced proteins were used to raise antisera. The antisera were shown by immunofluorescence to react with HHV-6-infected lymphoblastoid cells and in Western blots with a 135-kilodalton protein specific to HHV-6-infected cells. The recombinant protein expressed from the entire HHV-6 MCP gene was detected only weakly in Western blot assays with normal HHV-6-positive human sera as a probe.
PMCID: PMC249165  PMID: 2153237
6.  Human herpesvirus 6 is closely related to human cytomegalovirus. 
Journal of Virology  1990;64(1):287-299.
A sequence of 21,858 base pairs from the genome of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) strain U1102 is presented. The sequence has a mean composition of 41% G + C, and the observed frequency of CpG dinucleotides is close to that predicted from this mononucleotide composition. The sequence contains 17 complete open reading frames (ORFs) and part of another at the 5' end of the sequence. The predicted protein products of two of these ORFs have no recognizable homologs in the genomes of other sequenced human herpesviruses (i.e., Epstein-Barr virus [EBV], human cytomegalovirus [HCMV], herpes simplex virus [HSV], and varicella-zoster virus [VZV]). However, the products of nine other ORFs are clearly homologous to a set of genes that is conserved in all other sequenced herpesviruses, including homologs of the alkaline exonuclease, the phosphotransferase, the spliced ORF, and the major capsid protein genes. Measurements of similarity between these homologous sequences showed that HHV-6 is clearly most closely related to HCMV. The degree of relatedness between HHV-6 and HCMV was commensurate with that observed in comparisons between HSV and VZV or EBV and herpesvirus saimiri and significantly greater than its relatedness to EBV, HSV, or VZV. In addition, the gene for the major capsid protein and its 5' neighbor are reoriented with respect to the spliced ORFs in the genomes of both HHV-6 and HCMV relative to the organization observed in EBV, HSV, and VZV. Three ORFs in HHV-6 have recognizable homologs only in the genome of HCMV. Despite differences in gross composition and size, we conclude that the genomes of HHV-6 and HCMV are closely related.
PMCID: PMC249101  PMID: 2152817
7.  Identification and procaryotic expression of the gene coding for the highly immunogenic 28-kilodalton structural phosphoprotein (pp28) of human cytomegalovirus. 
Journal of Virology  1988;62(7):2243-2250.
Human cytomegalovirus contains a structural polypeptide that is 28 kilodaltons in apparent molecular size and is reactive in Western blot (immunoblot) analysis with the majority of human sera. The gene coding for this polypeptide was mapped on the genome of human cytomegalovirus strain AD169. A monoclonal antibody specific for the 28-kilodalton polypeptide was used to screen a cDNA library constructed from poly(A)+ RNA of human cytomegalovirus-infected cells in the procaryotic expression vector lambda gt11. Hybridization of cDNA with cosmid and plasmid clones mapped the gene to the HindIII R fragment. The gene was transcribed into a late 1.3-kilobase RNA. The nucleotide sequence of the coding region was determined. Parts of the 28-kilodalton polypeptide were expressed in Escherichia coli as hybrid proteins fused to beta-galactosidase. In Western blots these proteins were recognized by human sera. Antibodies raised against the hybrid proteins reacted specifically with the viral antigen in immunoprecipitations and Western blots. In vitro phosphorylation of HCMV virions and immunoprecipitation showed that the 28-kilodalton polypeptide was phosphorylated.
PMCID: PMC253363  PMID: 2836608
8.  Identification and expression of a human cytomegalovirus glycoprotein with homology to the Epstein-Barr virus BXLF2 product, varicella-zoster virus gpIII, and herpes simplex virus type 1 glycoprotein H. 
Journal of Virology  1988;62(4):1416-1422.
An open reading frame with the characteristics of a glycoprotein-coding sequence was identified by nucleotide sequencing of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) genomic DNA. The predicted amino acid sequence was homologous with glycoprotein H of herpes simplex virus type 1 and the homologous protein of Epstein-Barr virus (BXLF2 gene product) and varicella-zoster virus (gpIII). Recombinant vaccinia viruses that expressed this gene were constructed. A glycoprotein of approximately 86 kilodaltons was immunoprecipitated from cells infected with the recombinant viruses and from HCMV-infected cells with a monoclonal antibody that efficiently neutralized HCMV infectivity. In HCMV-infected MRC5 cells, this glycoprotein was present on nuclear and cytoplasmic membranes, but in recombinant vaccinia virus-infected cells it accumulated predominantly on the nuclear membrane.
PMCID: PMC253155  PMID: 2831402
9.  Map position and nucleotide sequence of the gene for the large structural phosphoprotein of human cytomegalovirus. 
Journal of Virology  1987;61(5):1358-1367.
Human cytomegalovirus particles contain a phosphoprotein of 150,000 (pp150) apparent molecular weight in their matrix; the protein appears particularly reactive in Western blot analyses with human antisera. The gene for pp150 was mapped by screening a bacteriophage lambda gt11 cDNA expression library with monospecific rabbit antisera. Subsequent hybridization of cDNA with cosmid and plasmid clones containing the human cytomegalovirus strain AD169 genome mapped the gene to HindIII fragments J and N. The gene is transcribed into a late 6.2-kilobase RNA. The nucleotide sequence of this region was determined, and a transcription initiation site and two polyadenylation sites of an abundant transcript were located by primer extension and nuclease protection experiments. The reading frame for pp150, deduced from computer analyses, gives rise to a polypeptide of 1,048 amino acids in length; protein secondary structure analysis revealed multiple beta-pleated sheets in hydrophilic clusters, providing a possible explanation for the immunogenic properties of the polypeptide.
PMCID: PMC254110  PMID: 3033266
10.  Two related but differentially expressed potential membrane proteins encoded by the EcoRI Dhet region of Epstein-Barr virus B95-8. 
Journal of Virology  1985;53(2):528-535.
Three mRNAs in the EcoRI Dhet region of Epstein-Barr virus B95-8 were mapped. Their 3' ends are coterminal. A latent gene containing three exons is transcribed from the ED-L1 promoter and was predicted to lead to expression of a 42-kilodalton protein. An unspliced late mRNA is produced by transcription from the ED-L1A promoter within the first intron of the above gene and was predicted to lead to expression of a 28-kilodalton protein corresponding to the C-terminal two-thirds of the 42-kilodalton protein. Both proteins would have hydrophobic N-terminal domains and highly acidic C-terminal domains and were predicted to span the cell membrane. An early promoter (ED-L2) is located in the 3' untranslated region of the above genes and was predicted to lead to expression of a 6.5-kilodalton polypeptide containing a C-terminal hydrophobic region.
PMCID: PMC254667  PMID: 2982035
12.  A mammalian mitochondrial serine transfer RNA lacking the "dihydrouridine" loop and stem. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1980;8(22):5213-5222.
A unique transfer RNA has been identified in human and bovine mitochondria that lacks the "dihydrouridine" loop and stem structure. This tRNA is mitochondrially coded as shown by DNA sequence analysis of the human and bovine mitochondrial DNA. Sequence analysis of the RNA shows that it is post-transcriptionally modified by the addition of CCA at the 3' terminus and that at least one base is modified. As predicted by its anticodon (GCU, corresponding to the serine codons AGU/C) this tRNA can be aminoacylated with serine when purified mitochondria are incubated in a medium containing 3H-serine.
PMCID: PMC324296  PMID: 6906662
13.  Spliced transcripts of human cytomegalovirus. 
Journal of Virology  1993;67(9):5502-5513.
The availability of the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) genomic sequence has resulted in more extensive knowledge of the overall coding capacity of the virus. Using polymerase chain reaction and rapid sequencing techniques, we have studied the splicing of mRNAs from a number of the predicted open reading frames (ORFs). Splicing was found between the UL122(IE2) ORF present within major immediate-early (MIE) region 2 and the downstream ORF (UL118) predicted to encode an incomplete glycoprotein. This locates the IE2 3' donor site and provides evidence of a link between the MIE region and downstream ORFs. The downstream UL119-UL118-UL115 ORFs also undergo differential splicing, further increasing the known complexity of this region of the genome. A detailed map of the differential splicing within the region encoding the MIE ORF is presented. Also described are several previously unidentified spliced ORFs found in the long repeats and long unique regions, including one encoding a transcript with a large (4-kb) intron. The results show that spliced transcripts are encoded from throughout the genome at immediate-early, early, and late times postinfection.
PMCID: PMC237953  PMID: 7688825
14.  Sequence and transcription analysis of the human cytomegalovirus DNA polymerase gene. 
Journal of Virology  1987;61(1):125-133.
DNA sequence analysis has revealed that the gene coding for the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) DNA polymerase is present within the long unique region of the virus genome. Identification is based on extensive amino acid homology between the predicted HCMV open reading frame HFLF2 and the DNA polymerase of herpes simplex virus type 1. We present here a 5280-base-pair DNA sequence containing the HCMV pol gene, along with the analysis of transcripts encoded within this region. Since HCMV pol also shows homology to the predicted Epstein-Barr virus pol, we were able to analyze the extent of homology between the DNA polymerases of three distantly related herpesviruses, HCMV, Epstein-Barr virus, and herpes simplex virus. The comparison shows that these DNA polymerases exhibit considerable amino acid homology and highlights a number of highly conserved regions; two such regions show homology to sequences within the adenovirus type 2 DNA polymerase. The HCMV pol gene is flanked by open reading frames with homology to those of other herpesviruses; upstream, there is a reading frame homologous to the glycoprotein B gene of herpes simplex virus type 1 and Epstein-Barr virus, and downstream there is a reading frame homologous to BFLF2 of Epstein-Barr virus.
PMCID: PMC255219  PMID: 3023690
15.  Terminal repetitive sequences in herpesvirus saimiri virion DNA. 
Journal of Virology  1985;55(1):133-139.
The H-DNA repeat unit of Herpesvirus saimiri strain 11 was cloned in plasmid vector pAGO, and the nucleotide sequence was determined by the dideoxy chain termination method. One unit of repetitive DNA has 1,444 base pairs with 70.8% G+C content. The structural features of repeat DNA sequences at the termini of intact virion M-DNA (160 kilobases) and orientation of reiterated DNA were analyzed by radioactive end labeling of M-DNA, followed by cleavage of the end fragments with restriction endonucleases. The termini appeared to be blunt ended with a 5'-phosphate group, probably generated during encapsidation by cleavage in the immediate vicinity of the single ApaI recognition site in the H-DNA repeat unit. The sequence did not reveal sizeable open reading frames, the longest hypothetical peptide from H-DNA being 85 amino acids. There was no evidence for an mRNA promoter or terminator element, and H-DNA-specific transcription could not be found in productively infected cells.
PMCID: PMC254907  PMID: 2989550

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